The Orbi Voice is a new speaker just announced by Harman Kardon and Netgear that combines the audio prowess of the former with the routing capabilities of the latter. The speaker is currently designed to work only with Orbi routers, and it matches the aesthetic of that lineup with a white finish and oval shape. Much like the routers it also has a ring LED on the top that helps display the speaker’s Wi-Fi status and connection to Amazon’s Alexa.
The speaker works with a free app that will let you adjust the volume and other functions from your smartphone. Thanks to Alexa, you’ll be able to access all of your favorite music streaming apps like Spotify. Pandora, and Amazon Music. The speaker will be just fine for playing music and talking to Alexa. Although it might not be as good as a more dedicated device like the Sonos One with Alexa, it’d definitely be a great stand-in for a room where you might have been thinking about adding an Echo Dot.
Since it works like a Wi-Fi repeater, you’ll also be able to use it to eliminate any dead spots in your home. Of course, you could buy a less expensive device like TP-Link’s AC1200 range extender, but it won’t have the speaker or voice assistant built into it either. Plus, if you’re already invested in the Orbi mesh networking system, this is a perfect add-on.
When it becomes available in September, the Orbi Voice will sell for $300 by itself. You’ll also be able to bundle it with an Orbi router like this for $430.
August 30, 2018 at 11:28AM